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The documents of this book, are from the archives of the Corfian family of Marios Lefteriotis and reflect aspects of the social life of Corfu during the last four hundred years. They are letters, contracts, testaments, marriage contracts, official law papers of Corfu or Venice and so on (in greek or italian), which perhaps might be useful to the historians who study the social life of the island during these years. More about the book and the copyright for downloading it, at
PREFACE OF THE BOOK IN SHORT
It was a time without hope. The great war had just ended and Greece was trying to heal its wounds and find the way to peace and prosperity.
I was about ten at the time, but I still recall the long walks I had with my father, on summertime afternoons, and the talks we had. Our topics were numerous. Usually we started with Astronomy and Physics (atomic age had just begun) and we ended with my father’s adventures during World War II. Thousands of stories…but on our way back, the last one was always about an old ancestor of ours, who came to Corfu, from a mythical sea-land called Venice, four hundred years ago, and on digging the soil to build his home in Giannades, he found a pot full of golden coins and made his fortune !! “Take great care of the papers” were my father’s words, on entering the house, and he was pointing to an old wooden chest…And I was wondering what these “papers” were about.
The years passed by, my father died, and I remained with my sweet memories and the “papers”.
Well, , when I decided to examine these papers, some years ago, I found out, to my great surprise, that they were about 800 pages of old documents, dating from 1631 till nowadays (including fifty new ones , which I chose to add, in order to complete the 20th century). Most of them, especially the older ones, are practically illegible,at least to me, either because they are written in the local dialect, or because they are written in older Italian or Latin. For example, there is an interesting document signed by the last Doge of Venice, Ludovicus Manin (no.0314 - 7 Sept. 1791), concerning a case between an ancestor of mine, named George Lefteriotis and a certain George Vassilachis. This document seems to be a verdict signed in Venice by the Doge Manin in 1791, six years before the invasion of Napoleon and the end of the Venetian Democracy..
Any way, I think that these papers are letters, estate titles, testaments, marriage contracts and official documents, concerning facts of my family and therefore reflecting the social life of Corfu during these years.
Besides, it is interesting to follow the differences in the seals and water-marks, on the documents, according to the interchange of the occupational powers in Corfu (Venetians till 1797, French till 1799, Russians till 1801, Ionian Independence till 1807, French again till 1814, and British till 1864 when the island was finally united with Greece).
The family documents of the 20th Century, mainly consist of facts and stories of World War II in Greece, through official reports and scripts of my father Paul Lefteriotis, who was a Police Officer, serving in North Greece during these years, and some new ones concerning myself.
But the most shuttering experience which deeply moved me, was the recovery, amongst these documents, of a 60 pages script of my great grandfather George Lefteriotis (1848-1932) which was written in 1912. In this script, which he claims to have copied from an unidentified book , we find full details of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, as if they were told by an eye-witness of the events..We can also find the official Roman verdict of the Crucifixion (full description of the death-sentence with the names of all the witnesses). Finally this script provides us with a detailed description of the appearance of Jesus Christ !! It should be very provoking for those who have the necessary know-how, to check the origin and accuracy of these details, which are, any way, very interesting !
A few words about the title of this book
The distant ancestor from Venice, was Nikolo Dui who settled in Giannades of Corfu, in about the year 1631, got married and changed his name to “Lefteriotis”. The nickname “Athanos” came from one of his descendants, named Athanasios Lefteriotis (1747-1829), and followed all the males of the family till nowadays. It was particularly used by my great grandfather George Lefteriotis who wrote the script about Jesus Christ. So by titling this book “ATHANOS’ ARCHIVES”, I am referring to the whole family which counts eleven generations from Nikolo Dui to me.
What finally is this book
This book is a selection of old documents which besides its obvious interest, has a very distinct particularity. Most of the documents, have not yet been deciphered and we just assume their content and sometimes their dating.
So we are waiting for the aspiring researchers to read, examine and reveal the secrets of this book …
more at http://marios-archives.blogspot.com/, http://corfu-archives.blogspot.com/ and http://www.archive.org/details/A400YearsStoryInCorfuGiannades